A look at the dangers that fire presented to 19th century women, such as my ancestor Anne Benwell, whose dress caught fire in 1818.
Category Archives: Stories
Blazing Dresses (Part 2)
In the 19th century, numerous women were injured and killed when their dresses caught fire, like my ancestor Eliza Maultby.
Alfred Munday: ‘an expert orchid grower’
Alfred Munday led Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s orchid collection for 36 years.
From Suffolk to Scotland Yard
The life and career of George Read (1832-1919), a Detective Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Thames Division
Who Was Harriet Horlock? Part 2: The Skeleton in the Cupboard
Did Harriet Horlock have a royal baby? And did her daughter Violet become a silent movie star? I turn detective, and look for the truth behind our family stories.
James Benwell – a Humble Son of Science
Meet James Benwell, gardener in the Oxford Botanic Garden for nearly 40 years. Uneducated, yet an expert on Oxfordshire plants, a legendary leach-finder, and celebrated hollerer.
Mabel Maultby — a WW2 Nurse and Civilian Casualty
Telephonist turned British Red Cross nurse Mabel Maultby and her friend Edna Shooter lost their lives in the Guards’ Chapel Bombing, 18 June 1944.
A Double Murder Attempt in Drayton
In the quiet village of Drayton, Berkshire (now Oxon) on 30 Dec 1876, grocer James Beesley and his daughter Elizabeth were shot in their own home.
One Wedding, One Fake Marriage, and No Funeral
Charles Edward Saword managed to live a double life, until in the first decade of the 20th century, he disappeared from records altogether.
Raised by an Aunt & Uncle Part 2: A Transatlantic Record
In 1928, my granny (my dad’s mother) broke several records at the tender age of 19 months. This is the story of how she came to be on the front pages of several Canadian newspapers, and what happened next. The story begins with my great grandmother, Annie Margaret Munday. Annie was born in Aylesbury, Bucks,Continue reading “Raised by an Aunt & Uncle Part 2: A Transatlantic Record”